Dubai-based Emirates airline says it will develop a $120m engine repair and overhaul facility in the emirate.

The facility will be built on a 90,000-square-metre site and will serve Emirates’ growing fleet. It will be able to carry out 300 engine repairs a year for the GE90 and GE7000 engines fitted to Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2012 and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Emirates has signed a letter of intent with General Electric to oversee the design and construction of the facility.

“The establishment of an engine shop re-emphasises Emirates’ commitment to provide the highest standard of in-house maintenance to its fleet, utilising best practice,” says Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive officer of Emirates airline and Group.

The engine shop will create more than 500 new job opportunities with a large percentage of these to be taken by UAE nationals.

The airline still has 193 aircraft on order at a value of more than $66bn. Emirates expected to take delivery of 21 new aircraft in the 2011/12 financial year. The new aircraft include six Airbus A380s, 13 Boeing 777s and two freighters. The airline plans to have 169 aircraft in its fleet by 2012 (MEED 10:5:11).